Friday, June 08, 2007

What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau

This book explores the mystical connection between Clara, an American girl, and her grandmother in Mexico that she has never met. Clara's father left his remote, poor village for the United States and he never returned. Twenty years later his parents invite their granddaughter Clara to spend the summer with them. Clara is restless and unhappy, and jumps at the chance for a change in her life. Although she speaks Spanish, Clara is unprepared for life in rural Mexico, and unaware of the economic and social forces that pull people away from their homes to earn money and a "good life" in the United States. Clara learns how her grandmother discovered her gift of healing, and finds out that she too has that gift. Clara also meets a local boy her age who challenges and befriends her. The writing is lyrical, especially when the grandmother tells her own life story. This book is not for everyone, but for someone interested in the culture of Mexico and the relationships that bind people together, it is a real gem. Many Spanish and Mixteco words are used, but all are defined either in the text or glossaries.

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